Preventing Marble Countertop Etching
Have you ever heard of s-b-s sealer or lifeguard from Aldon chemical? They say that they prevent etching in Marble to a very high degree.
I would like to know if you have had experience with these products or similar and if they work well.
I put a marble tile countertop in and am only now, after the install, finding out about etching and would like to prevent it if it is possible.
ANSWER: Yes I do know
about Aldon, but have not used their products. Their claim and pictures that the SBS Sealer plus Lifeguard will prevent etching is intriguing, but there's a couple caveats.
Aldon's sealer combo is a penetrating sealer that also leaves a layer on the surface and not completely below the surface like most/all other penetrating sealers. This will change the look of your stone
and importantly will change (limit) what can be done for marble cleaning and maintenance. If your marble is polished
then note that you may have some difficulty getting the SBS and Lifeguard to absorb and bond properly. Though Aldon claims their spray on SBS is designed for low porosity surfaces like polished marble.
That's the big issue I see with these two products. They are designed to leave a glossy topical coat on your marble, which is not what most sealers are designed to do and that surface barrier is what is preventing the etching of course, which any topical coating or wax will do.A permanent topical coat
can be detrimental to the integrity of the stone and generally creates new/additional marble maintenance and cleaning issues since you now have to maintain the topical coating rather than the marble itself. Topical coatings will
show wear (scuffs, scratches) more readily than the stone itself would and need constant maintenance. Aldon appears to claim that theirs won't and that it doesn't need stripping to touch up or reapply.
If that is true, then it could be a very good product to use for certain finishes, but I don't know that I'd recommend it for all finishes, especially honed or tumbled unless you want that "wet look." Plus honed marble doesn't show etching that badly anyway.One more thing
is that SBS contains methylene chloride which is a powerful, noxious and toxic solvent. I highly recommend using a respirator if you do use this product and also expect your house to be filled with fumes for 2-3 days. Also,
topical coatings often make the stone look plastic.
And I wouldn't put marble sealed with Aldon in the same category as granite for use in the kitchen. Even if
marble etching can be controlled, granite is still much more durable and a better choice for kitchen countertops.
These types of coatings can be beneficial in certain limited situations like commercial installations where a marble cleaning and maintenance team is constantly caring for the surface.
If you do decide to apply a topical coating, definitely test your complete application procedure on a left-over tile first to see what the sealer will do... how it will look. My best recommendation
is simply to follow the "do's and don'ts" presented on our site, learn how to properly care for and clean marble and you will effectively prevent 90% of etch marks.
No need to complicate matters by applying a permanent topical coating especially when most etch marks on polished marble, travertine or limestone can be easily restored using the ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste
If you do use a coating, please report back about how it goes, how you like the end result and if it works!